You look out the window, regretfully, adoringly, at your current set of wheels. You thought that you’d be able to drive that car for a little longer, but perhaps you’ve had an event, or a sneaking suspicion creep up on you.

At first it was just one thing, but now that you think about it more, there’s a growing list of reasons. It’s not a dismissable list. And it wasn’t caused simply by new car envy.

Here’s 5 very practical reasons to consider looking for a new (or newer) car:

1. The Repair Costs Keep Adding Up

It’s a given that keeping your car on the road will cost a bit of money. I’ve heard it said that you’re likely to spend at least $1500 on your car each year just keeping it on the road (that’s not including fuel, sadly enough). But, eventually, there’s going to come a time when the repair cost is going to outweigh the advantage of having that particular car.

Perhaps the gearbox or clutch are on their way out. Perhaps your mechanic flagged something about the timing belt on your last visit. Perhaps you’ve just discovered sneaky rust through a few major panels. At some point, you’ll have to call it quits. You’re going to want to decide on that point before you get there.

2. You’ve Had A Change In Job Or Lifestyle

Has a change in employment meant you’re driving more ks? Or less? Or you’ve just moved into an area where you’re honestly going to need an SUV to get to and from your house. Your family dynamic might have changed, with another kid on the way or one of them getting excited about getting their L’s soon. If your lifestyle is going to change in a way that impacts how you’re getting from A to B, you might need to consider whether or not a change in vehicle is also on the books.

3. Your Car’s Got A Drinking Problem

Younger cars are just more fuel efficient. It’s a given fact of life. And although the price of fuel is yo-yo-ing around at the moment, it’s a finite source and in the end, is only going to get more expensive. If your current situation requires you to do a lot of driving, and your car is burning petrol waaaaay too fast, it might be time to either contact a mechanic (Keep point 1 in mind!) or consider something that’s a little cheaper to fill up.

4. You’re Playing Reliability Roulette In The Mornings

I don’t know about you, but when I’m hopping in my car, I’m either already running late, or I need to leave now, not in five minutes because I can’t get the engine to turn over. Whether you’re doing the school run, leaving for work, or pushing to get out of town as fast as possible on a Friday afternoon, you want your car to start. And even more so if it’s dark or cold or wet.

If your car is starting to behave like it needs a secret password to get started, to operate certain features, or to lock/unlock, it might be time to consider something that works, the first time you try.

5. Your Car’s Treating Safety Like It’s An Option

Back in the days when my family needed a Tarago to get around, we had one with a…personality. It would stall when the engine’s revs fell below a certain threshold, which could be when we were waiting in a queue for the lights, or when we were turning around corners, or…any other time when it was feeling so inclined. You could also start it with a paddle pop stick, if you knew how. In retrospect, this was really not safe.

When you and your loved ones hop into a car, you’re sitting down inside a metal box that’s capable of going very fast. You need a car that can do what you ask, when you need it, (that’s reliability), but you also need a car that’s going to be safe to drive. If your car is exhibiting behaviours that are making it unsafe, then you should check it into a mechanic (remember point 1 again) or start thinking about a safer option for you, your family, and everyone else on the road.